We have some exciting updates and new features launching on Monday. If you have any questions for feedback, visit this forum thread.
One trend stands out in our BfA site: all gear and stat recommendations are based on simulations we do for you ahead of time, so you don’t have to do it yourself.
Importing from the addon & changing characters
To import from the addon or change your character, click on your character name at the top of the page.
Gear Check – formerly known as Gear Explorer
The gear explorer was the tool that showed your gear and suggested gems and enchants. We gave that tool a little extra pizzazz for BfA. It now has a fancy little setup screen to pick your gearing strategy, gem and enchant settings.
This is much nicer, if I do say so myself. This feature also suggests Azerite Powers (only the best for my favorite humans).
This feature is still free.
Azerite Power optimizations
Every feature on the site will optimize your Azerite Powers automatically (you saw that coming, didn’t you?). But did you guess that we’d dynamically rank them too? As you change talents, gear, or even other Azerite Powers, the ‘ranked value’ updates.
See for yourself if my super minimalist, 29-second silent film.
One of the most frequently asked questions any Warcraft player has: what are my best stats?
It’s always been hard to answer that because it depends on pretty much everything specific to your current character. That’s why you often hear people tell you to ‘sim it.’ But since we sim everything for you ahead of time (so you don’t have to), we can give you instant advice on your best stats.
This feature shows up to the right of Gear Checks and Best in Bags. It seems like a humble little feature, but if it could humble brag, it probably would. Actually, I’m sure it would. Okay, maybe I wrote an entire article about it already because, darnit, that’s what it deserves.
The Stat Analysis updates whenever anything about your character changes: talents, new gear, different Azerite Powers, etc. You can also export stat weights to PAWN.
Locking gear, gems, enchants & Azerite Powers
You could always lock items, gems, and enchants during Legion. But it was a power user feature that was hard to figure out on your own. Since locking things in is a big part of customizing your gear, we’ve put it front-and-center.
Every lockable thing now has a lock icon next to it. Click the lock icon to bring up a list of items, gems, enchants, or Azerite Powers. Choose the one you want and it will lock in. If something is locked, the icon turns orange. Click it again to unlock.
Locking stuff tells Mr. Robot that you don’t want him to change it. He’ll then optimize around it.
Item list searching
I know, this sounds boring, but our item-list searching is really good. It’s the little things in life.
It’s one of those things that you don’t know how powerful it can be unless someone tells you (or you are a crazy person who types things in to see if you can break stuff). Here are some example searches you can do:
- NEW: Azerite Powers. Search for any Azerite Power by name or search for combinations of powers by listing more than one, separated by a comma.
- Boss: type a boss name into the search box to see items only for that boss.
- Source: type in any source to get a list. Here are a few to try: raid, uldir, or dungeon.
- Difficulty: type in LFR, normal, heroic, or mythic to get a list of items for that difficulty.
- Stat: Search for any stat by name (remember that there are no secondary stats on Azerite gear, so searching for secondary stats does nothing in those slots). Search for combinations of stats by separating them with a comma, like this: crit, mastery
- Quality: rare, epic, etc.
- Sets: search for the word “sets” (plural) to find anything with a set bonus. While tier sets are gone in BfA, there are a handful of set items, like Lord Waycrest’s set.
- NEW! By item ID: for those of you who are hardcore and know the item ID for some reason, you can search by that too.
- NEW! Statstick: search for “statstick” (one word) in the trinket slot to see a list of trinkets that are, well, stat sticks!
Every filter used to be behind a filter-menu at the top of the page. Not all filters were relevant for each section, so it was overwhelming and unclear what filters controlled what tools. Combine that with the fact that a lot of people missed the filter menu altogether, we figured it needed improving. Each section now has its own set of filters, clearly displayed in the setup phase.
Here’s an example set of filters for Best in Slot.
Each of the Boss Filters can be expanded to select specific bosses as well. So if you are running Normal Uldir and the first few bosses of Heroic, you can include all Normal items and Heroic items from just the first few bosses.
In Legion, you had to click on a menu to swap specs. But since it’s an action that people take a lot, we wanted it to be much quicker and easier to swap between specs. So we put it right next to your character name. One click, and every tool updates to optimize that spec.
Best in Bags
This fan-favorite feature got a little love with our BfA update as well. The workflow is even smoother, and you can more easily switch between specs. It also benefits from the locking changes, the stat analysis, and item list search features.
The big addition to this feature revolves around multiple setups. In Legion, you might recall, you could get a Best in Bags solution for each spec. In BfA, we’ll let you add up to 10 total setups. This means you can have both a Single Target and Mythic+ setup for your main spec, saved, without constantly switching gearing strategies.
On BfA launch, you’ll be able to have 1 Best in Bags setup per spec (like in Legion). 1-2 weeks after launch, we’ll add in the option for extra setups. It requires an addon update because you’ll be able to export all 10 of your setups to the addon at once. That means we need a little extra time to get in-game volunteers to test it before it goes live.
If you used Best in Bags in Legion, you’ll remember the Alternate options that we showed you (different legendary setups). The idea is that a lot of gear combinations all perform within a few % of each other and all of them will get you a top rank in logs. Best in Bags picks a best set of gear, but then also shows you some other options that you might enjoy just as much. While you won’t see this on launch (don’t panic, it’s coming back!). It will be ready shortly after launch and it will suggest alternate Azerite Powers, gear, and trinkets.
Best in Bags is a premium feature. Premium is only $12 a year (or $2 if paying monthly). There is only one tier of premium, so that when you upgrade, you get it all.
We have a few changes to the view on this as well. Of course, we still have the Bonus Roll helper so you know how to spend those in BfA. We also have a few other little searches to add, like what you can get from your Mythic+ cache this week.
This will be ready 1-2 weeks after BfA launches as well. We feel terrible for leaving you hanging, but hope you are having fun leveling while we finish up the feature. It takes quite a bit of extra work and we didn’t want to rush a version out with bugs. The problem if we don’t test it thoroughly enough, is people will search for items that might accidentally not be an upgrade.
This is a premium feature.
Adaptive Gearing Strategies
We introduced these partway through Legion. It works like this: we simulate all of the necessary combinations of talents, gear, and Azerite Powers for every spec. We apply some fancy machine learning and store all of the data.
This lets us give you gear recommendations and stat advice instantly. Since we already simmed a bazillion things, we just have to look up the results – no need to rerun it (on our end, or on yours).
We’re continuing this in BfA of course. On launch, we have some of this data ready, based on a handful of generic characters. Gear and stat recommendations will be pretty good, but not fully custom to every little detail about your character.
It takes about 2 weeks to run all of the required simulations across thousands of computers. We’ll be starting that soon and it will finish before Uldir. That means, when Uldir launches, every gear and stat suggestion on the site will be based off simulation data totally custom to your character.
If you are interested in how this works, this article about the GloNet (Global Network) explains it a bit more.
If you’ve been picking up what I’ve been putting down, you’ve probably realized that you don’t have to sim anything to get the best stat and gear recommendations. In fact, you have too many combinations of gear to even compare them all in a simulation – if you had just 3 items per slot, you’d have 5 million combinations to run (25 billion iterations). If each combo took 1 second to sim, it would take 55 days to get through them all.
That’s why our approach to sim it all for you, ahead of time, and apply some machine learning, really is the best way to get gear and stat recommendations.
So why sim at all?
Oh, lots of reasons! You might want to test out tweaks to a rotation. Or test trinkets out on specific Uldir boss scenarios. Or find out if there is a better way to heal in Mythic+. The list goes on. The point is that the simulator is incredibly powerful for satisfying your curiosity and for theorycrafting. It’s just no longer necessary for gear and stat advice because (say it with me) – We’ve already simmed that for you.
The updated simulator UI has been on our beta site for about a month. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, it’s pretty snazzy. It has a little walk-through now to help even the simulation-newbies set it up with confidence.
During the beta, we had the “Batch” simulations disabled for numerous reasons. The Batch simulations are also getting a makeover, mostly because who the heck knows what a Batch Simulation is even supposed to mean? Yeah, we didn’t think too hard about that when we named it, I guess.
A batch simulation is any large combination of sims. Want to sim a bunch of talent and gear combos all at once? No problem, set up a batch. Want to vary your stats to see how they change across different levels? No problem, we have a batch simulation for that. But in BfA, we ditched the name, “Batch,” and are giving each one an appropriate title, and a special walk-through for easier setup.
Also, just like in Legion, we simulate healers and tanks (survivability and dps). I have some blog posts coming out over the next few weeks detailing exactly how heal and tank sims work. These types of sims are unique to our simulator and I haven’t done a good job of sharing all of the details – I will fix that! In the meantime, tanks, you can make use of “The Blender” – which lets you get gear recommendations balanced for survivability and DPS (you choose the balance).
With BfA, we’re removing all ads. The free parts of the site are STILL FREE (whew, don’t worry, we wouldn’t do that to you!).
While this sounds like a big announcement (and I have a data-driven post about ads here), it’s not a huge impact for us.
We’ve never had ads on this lovely little blog. I’m just happy you’re here, listening to me talk (or type?) about my favorite AMR features. No need to make money off you while I do that. Our forums haven’t ever had ads either, since we don’t want to make money off your support questions. And lastly, our simulator has also never had ads. The tool is so data dense, we didn’t want to interrupt the flow with a giant rectangle ad.
With our site redesign, we decided to remove them to really focus on making the best user experience possible. Just remember, ads help other sites continue to operate (if you run a site and need help with ads, hit me up. I can recommend some systems and partners). We just lucked out by having the best users (yes, you!) who support us enough to be able to make this change.
Bugs (eek!) and balancing changes
If you find a bug, please post it on our forums. We’ll be updating the site multiple times a day for a week or two as bugs get discovered. While I’d love to tell you we are confident there are no bugs, I’d be lying. We’ve done our best to find them, but every character is so unique, odd cases show up. Maybe you have an item from WotLK hanging out in your bags and it throws an error. Or my favorite from Cataclysm, where anyone without pants couldn’t be optimized (hey! Mr. Robot has some decency standards, people!)
Blizzard will also be posting hotfixes to adjust the power of spells, items, talents, etc. As those happen, we’ll update the site that same day (usually right away).
- The changes go live in the simulator as soon as we update it.
- Gear rankings take a little extra time to get updated, because we have to re-sim them for every spec. This takes about a day (sometimes more, sometimes less).
- Coming soon: we have a spot for an update log so you can see exactly when (and what) things were updated.
If you have any other questions or feedback, drop by our forums. You can also sign up for my email list to get notified as we update the site, re-launch the Upgrade Finder, etc. I send 1-4 emails a month (definitely closer to 4 around an expansion launch like this). I never send spammy things – I personally write every email, so I can make that promise.